Ayodele Arasokun has been sentenced to 34 years in federal prison for his involvement in an international tax scheme. Arasokun devised a plan from January 2016 to November 2017 to unlawfully obtain tax refund money by filing fraudulent federal income tax returns. He collected personal information, including names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, from multiple individuals across the United States.
Using this information, Arasokun compromised the IRS Electronic Filing Pin application, an online portal. He electronically filed and attempted to file fraudulent federal income tax returns containing fictitious income amounts and other false information. Arasokun directed the tax refunds to be deposited into prepaid debit cards and bank accounts that he monitored.
Investigators discovered that Arasokun was tracking approximately 700 U.S.-based accounts containing over $50 million. Of the $9.1 million claimed in false federal income tax returns, the IRS paid out $2.2 million in fraudulently obtained refunds.
Arasokun, originally from Nigeria, was arrested and detained in France, where he allegedly participated in the crime at the request of the U.S. government. He was convicted in October 2022 of 21 counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The investigation was conducted by the IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) – Cybercrime Investigations Division. TIGTA’s involvement was due to its work investigating abuses of the IRS’s online electronic portals, including the compromised Electronic Filing Pin application.
The IRS reported illegal attempts to access its systems in February 2016, using out-of-wallet information tied to stolen Social Security numbers. The agency was able to stop an attack on its e-filing PIN application, but unauthorized attempts involving approximately 464,000 unique SSNs were made. The IRS will notify affected taxpayers and take measures to protect against potential tax-related identity theft.
U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld stated that Arasokun’s conviction sends a clear message to criminals, emphasizing the IRS’s commitment to pursuing those who tamper with the tax system.